Blockchain technology-boon to Healthcare system
The healthcare systems in the United States are using blockchain technology for recording all the medical datasets in recent days. A few months back, they had found a severe cyberattack while dealing with COVID-19 research. They have discovered that when the data are stored as blocks and added in the Blockchains, then there cannot be any tampering of data and the data can be accessed only by the authorized people, using private keys.
There were more cyber attacks, especially in the year of 2018, more than 15 million patient records have been in security risk, as malicious users had free access to patient records. The usage of Blockchain technology offers various merits like patients recorded will not be able to access by any other third parties, and the patients will also be able to control the data access, comprising their personal information.
Blockchain technology challenges in the health care centres
- The foremost challenge of adopting blockchain technology is, the medical research team must be able to collaborate the existing information with new read/write standards and distributed platforms and structures, and must adapt to this new technology.
- The next difficulty is recording all the data collected from an MRI scan, CAT scan, and lots more in a single transaction.
- The greatest drawbacks of Blockchains are the deleted or modified records cannot be removed from the chain. So they are added to the Blockchains indicating the delete or modify. But it occupies a large amount of storage space, thereby resulting in the fiscal and technological challenge.
But despite all these challenges, the health care research people have made it possible by accommodating the Blockchain technology. By the year 2017, a safe exchange of medical records to the Blockchains was initiated by FDA after collaborating with IBM Watson. In the year 2018, a Biomedical Research centre was opened to do research by collecting the DNA samples from Africans who are suffering from sickle cell disease and see how it works when using Blockchain technology, which showed tremendous results.
Future scope for Blockchain in healthcare systems
Blockchain technology always has the key aspect of patient-centric interoperability instead of institution driven interoperability. The patients will be given credentials to assign the block access to some of the researchers. They can also fix for how many days or months, the researcher can make use of their data. With the Blockchain technology, the patients will be able to connect to other hospitals and get the medical records from the connected hospitals.
The Blockchain technology does possess some EU General Data Protection Regulation, where due to sensitivity issues, the Hashtag should not contain the medical data, but the can data like drug allergies in the public ledger. The public can see the blockchain information; can also store a copy in their personal computers. But they will not be able to manipulate the data, as the complexity might still increase. With lots more transactions in the single Blockchain, in the future, there might be some slow down in the transaction processing speed. As the Blockchains are digital, if there are any virus attacks, the entire Blockchain might lose the stored information.
More about Blockchains
- The blockchain technology first emerged in 2009 to store the Bitcoin transactions records. The records stored as Blockchain can be shared with any computers connected to the network, as opposed to the traditional method of maintaining the records in central servers. The users connected to the blockchain network will be able to add the records to the public record system. The transactions are authenticated by the process called mining. Every transaction can be thought of as a block, and the ledger connecting them can be thought of as the chain.
- The Blockchain technology does not require any middlemen as all the transactions are automatically added to the ledger. In many financial institutions, there will be some clearinghouse to verify all the transactions that have been initiated.
- The added blocks are being linked to the chains, utilizing mining. The transactions that are pending will be converted into the complex mathematical puzzle, where the miners will have to solve the problem. The solution will be hashed to a block. A Hash to one block is created utilizing the hash of the previous blocks, so it accounts for safety and validity.
- As every block’s hash is designed with this pattern, if any tampering of the block occurs, everyone will be notified about this activity. From research, it was found that almost 15 percent of banking sectors and 14 percent of financial industries are moving to use blockchain
- GemHealth has implemented a blockchain chain technology, in which, the record of the patients, EMRs, patient wellness software, and lots more are connected to the healthcare blockchain and connects the patients.
- As this is a distributed data management system, without the need for reconciliation, thereby proving the integrity of the blockchain technology.
- The blockchain-based health care system will be able to eliminate the cost of currency taxation.
- The blockchains are distributed and allow the user to interact, exchange, and transact through the distributed system. Unlike other financial industries or Banking systems, the Blockchain does not want any intermediaries to authenticate the transactions, as everything is done by the miners, through the process of mining.
- Many of the banking systems and financial institutions will have restrictions in working time, transaction time, and the transaction fee for both national and international and will have a minimum balance maintenance condition and lots more. But the Blockchain does not have any of these restrictions. Only for initiating international transactions, some amount of money will be incurred as the transaction, which will be very minimal.
- The Blockchain has been used in various fields like banking, healthcare, at present to construct a smart aerospace city in China, a Voting system, a smart contract, a trading system, and lots more.
There is a regulation that, if the data is being maintained in a distributed manner, there should be an increase in the quality of the data, as it is accessed by many people. The cost of operating the data has to be reduced. With the blockchain technology, the company people were able to avoid incorrect data easily and to avoid the also in a fast and secure manner.
The healthcare based Blockchain technology is distributed, such that every patient and associated. The doctor’s record will be stored as blocks and maintained in the Blockchain. So, if some kind of insurance company tries to call a doctor connected to the common healthcare record and does some updates, every user connected to the Blockchain will be able to see the changes. This shows the transparency and accuracy of blockchain technology in the healthcare system. The Blockchain is very secure and can be safe against malicious users, as the blocks cannot tamper. If any unusual activity occurs, everyone in the group will be notified about this change.
So, to maintain the health care records safely without any operational cost and in a highly secure manner using the blockchain technology! Maintaining a health-care record will offer you with more security and flexibility.